A Pakistani man whose arrest provided information about the reconnaissance of financial institutions in New York, Newark and Washington was also communicating with Qaeda operatives who the authorities say are plotting to carry out an attack intended to disrupt the fall elections, a senior intelligence official said Saturday.As usual with this sort of disclosures, few details were made public. It is not clear how many people are involved, how far they had proceeded in their operational planning, how involved or knowledgeable Mr Khan was as far as those plans were concerned. I can easily see him only passing data back and forth as an electronic courier of sorts.
But what if we even assume he was indeed in the most direct way involved in planning an attempt to sabotage the Presidential election by staging a massive terror attack? More likely than not the result of such an attack would be an elevation of President Bush's rating as he will likely do his best to emerge as a strong leader following another major terror attack. If the fact that his ratings went to about 90% from about 45% following 9/11 is any indication, some, possibly less dramatic, increase in his popularity following another terror attack should be expected. Another possibility would be a postponement or an outright cancellation of the election. Under all of those scenarios the chances of George W Bush remaining in charge for some time to come stand to significantly improve. I certainly respect Mr Khan's right to support Bush for President,- it is only the means he is alleged to have chosen to express his support that I have somewhat of a problem with.
However, there is a whole other possibility of what the arrest of Mr Khan signifies. As Max Blumenthal notes in his blog, there is a possibility that Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan may be a double-agent arrested at a preset time and later used to create the current spate of terror warnings. If this is indeed the case, that should hardly come as a surprise,- given this administration's record of politicizing and distorting intelligence on a number of occasions.
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